- A couple bought a home for half a million dollars in California in 2020, but haven’t moved in.
- The seller refuses to leave the property, though its been over a year.
- The couple’s real estate agent says the seller is taking advantage of the state’s eviction moratorium.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A couple bought a home in Riverside, California, in January 2020, but over a year later they haven’t been able to move in because the seller refuses to leave, Fox 11 LA reported.
Tracie and Myles Albert bought the four-bedroom home in cash for the asking price of $560,000, real estate agent Chris Taylor told Fox 11. After the sale went through, though, the seller refused to turn over the keys or leave the home, the agent said.
“It’s genuinely unfathomable to me that we live in a state where something like this is even possible. They closed escrow on this home January 31, 2020,” Taylor told the news station. The couple closed on the house weeks before state-mandated lockdowns and other measures — including a moratorium on evictions — were enacted to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Meantime, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill extending the state’s eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. The couple and real estate agent say that they’ve tried to get the seller evicted, but authorities say their hands are tied.
“They have this case under a COVID tenant situation, of no evictions when it doesn’t fall under that at all. This transaction went through in January 2020 before any of that, it isn’t a renter who was getting thrown out. It’s the guy who collected all of this money,” Myles Albert said in a statement.
The previous owner who is allegedly still living in the house did not come to the door when a Fox 11 reporter sought comment.
“This year alone, we’ve handled at least 7 maybe 8 cases of this exact type of situation” eviction attorney Dennis Block said.
California is notorious for a housing shortage, and the pandemic has only exacerbated things.
Evictions have been paused in many parts of the country, but some moratoriums have already expired. In some cases, they are insufficient to protect the people they’re intended for. CBS 8 has reported on cases in California bound by the same laws as Riverside where landlords are finding loopholes to evict renters.